Tivo abandoning us cord cutters?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by jgantert, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Aug 16, 2012 #1 of 103

    jgantert Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Columbia, MD
    So is TiVo officially abandoning us cord cutters by not including OTA tuners in any of their new products? Looks like there is only one Tivo left that has an OTA tuner, and I suspect it's days are numbered.

    With the number of people leaving cable, I would suspect there would be a market for OTA DVR's, but I guess not.

    Hopefully my Series 3 never dies, because when it does, it looks like there might not be an OTA alternative.

    OTA/streaming only since around 2005
  2. Aug 16, 2012 #2 of 103

    GriffithStrife Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    You know I don't want to come off as a ass but I know I am so sorry in advance.

    I am so tired of cord cutters crying about Tivo not loving them, the whole point of cutting the cord is saving money, it would be stupid to invest in cord cutters for they are by definition not interested in spending money.

    there is no device that I can find capable of recording 4 programs OTA, so why would Tivo invest in creating it from scratch?

    Also you stated you have a series 3 Tivo HD what is you want that would make you upgrade to a premiere 4 tuners or something else?

    Once again not trying to be a ass, I just don't get what you and a lot of other cord cutters want.
  3. Aug 16, 2012 #3 of 103

    SullyND W: 33-9 (Camping World Bowl) TCF Club

    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago Burbs
    The Elite/XL4/P4 are retail versions of a device built for Cable Companies (the Q). It would have made no sense for the Q to have OTA. While it can't yet be said for sure, I fully expect the difference between the XL4 and the P4 to be only hard drive size, and THX label.
  4. Aug 16, 2012 #4 of 103

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Actually what cord cutters are trying to avoid is getting screwed by the cable companies and the content providers.

    (not to say anything nice about cable companies, but content providers force them to accept bundles of channels in order to get the ones they want, and they pass the "action without lubrication" on to customers)
  5. Aug 16, 2012 #5 of 103

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    TiVo's flagship product, the TiVo premiere, supports OTA and/or cable. No reason to see this changing with future products. With the current hardware, if you want 4 tuners, they have to be all cable or all OTA. That is why the Elite/Premiere 4 only supports cable, not some master plan to drop OTA support - if TiVo is going to sell a 4 tuner device, they are going to pick one for the biggest market (cable users).
  6. Aug 16, 2012 #6 of 103

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    That's basically it. The Elite, XL4, and now Premiere 4 are simply ways for TiVo to monetize via retail something they developed for the cable industry.

    There is also a technical limitation. The current generation hardware can not support more then 4 tuners. The standard Premiere has two OTA and two cable tuners, the XL4 has 4 cable tuners. That's all the mobo, and the case, can handle. I guess they could technically create a unit that has 4 OTA tuners, but I doubt there are enough cord cutters to justify it.

  7. Aug 16, 2012 #7 of 103

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    A tuner is just a way to take in an RF signal, beat it against a local oscillator to generate sum and difference, and use one of them to feed through an Intermediate Frequency amplifer chain (known for ages now as the IF Strip) and then sent to a demodulator of some sort.

    If a tuner can tune cable frequencies, it can tune OTA frequencies.

    What's needed is something to switch a tuner's input to either the cable nipple or the antenna nipple, and then something to route the IF Strip output to either one of 4 OTA demodulators or one of 4 cable demodulators.

    So it is more stuff on the mobo, it's just not necessary that it be more tuners.
  8. Aug 16, 2012 #8 of 103

    S3-2501 New Member

    Jun 2, 2007
    There are a lot of people who are OTA-only who have never had a cord to cut. The last time anyone in our house paid for cable was back in the late 80s. At this point getting cable would be adding significantly to our monthly budget, not reducing it.

    Everyone in my family is extremely interested in spending money on a reliable and affordable device that is the functional replacement to the old analog VCR. OTA viewers need to record programming just as much as cable users do. In fact, it's what made me a Tivo customer in the first place. I would even go so far as to speculate that an OTA-only Tivo could be made at lower cost to Tivo and sold at a higher profit, since there would be no cablecard or other such cable-related components and/or licensing fees needed.

    There's definitely a market out there for such a device. I can't speculate as to how large that market is, but there definitely is one. We have over 20 channels of unique content OTA in my area and recording conflicts are not uncommon. We are fortunate to have more than one Tivo in our family, so typically conflicts can be resolved by recording on a different box and then transferring it for watching later. Eliminating the need for an extra box would be a very good thing for both budgetary and convenience reasons.

    I can't speak for the OP, but I gave the Premiere a try when I was able to score one on clearance. I was curious to see if I would prefer the HD interface, faster network performance and new internet applications. Additionally, at the time it was known how to easily upgrade a Premiere to 2TB, but an original S3 was still limited to 1TB for DIY upgraders.

    Unfortunately, the Premiere's tuner proved to be vastly inferior to our S3 at receiving OTA signals at our location and I was forced to cancel the Prrmiere's service before our 30-day trial ended.

    So IMHO Tivo has abandoned OTA users, but manly because (as has been documented elsewhere in this forum,) the Premiere's OTA performance is a significant downgrade from the Series 3 platform and Tivo has thus far completely failed to address that issue. The poor reliability of Tribune with regard to channel lineup and programming changes hasn't helped matters either.

    I can't speak for all OTA viewers, but I hope this gives you an idea what my family and I want from Tivo.
  9. Aug 16, 2012 #9 of 103

    rainwater Active Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    The new devices are using the same basic hardware as the Premiere with OTA. How have they abandoned your or anyone else? They still sell the Premiere with OTA tuners and will continue to do so. The new products run the same software and don't have any software features that the OTA version has.
  10. Aug 16, 2012 #10 of 103

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I believe you mean don't have any software features that the OTA version does not have.
  11. Aug 16, 2012 #11 of 103

    ade333 New Member

    Jun 2, 2012
  12. Aug 17, 2012 #12 of 103
    L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I agree with most of your other points, but when I see comments about how bad the Premiere's OTA tuners are, I occasionally feel the need to note that for some of us those tuners work better than the tuners in older TiVos. It could be due to sample variation, but I suspect it may be due to signal variation by location, possibly related to the amount and type of multipath interference. I won't defend Tribune Media.
  13. Aug 17, 2012 #13 of 103

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    My Premiere has significantly inferior OTA tuning abilities compared to either my TiVo HD or my original Series 3. Most of this summer one or more of my OTA channels have not been available on the Premiere but are on the TiVo HD and Series 3. I have given up that TiVo will fix the problem and have decided to just keep the other units running.
  14. Aug 17, 2012 #14 of 103

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    You have no data to support that. I have a $2000 sound system, over $2000 TV (when I purchased it) and 3 HD TiVos and I do not have cable or Satellite. Over 90% of what I watch comes from OTA with the other 10% being blu-ray and streaming. Which is more than enough content for me - no need to pay for any more. Many people are starting to find cable/satellite a bad value and find OTA with some streaming services a better value while providing sufficient content for their needs/desires.

    TiVo has enough data to know what is likely to make sense to develop. My guess is that without the cable companies they couldn't have developed the 4 tuner cable DVRs so I tend to believe we will not see a 4 tuner OTA one. However I do believe they will continue to support OTA with what ever ends up being their enter level DVR for a long time.

    I am guessing most OTA users would be looking at upgrading for exactly the same reason someone using a Series 3 on cable would want to upgrade.

    The same thing people who purchase cable or Satellite want. Why would you think that the source of someone's TV changes what they want in a DVR?
  15. Aug 17, 2012 #15 of 103

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    In the very early days of FM radios, the receivers had to be of very high quality, compared to AM sets, in order to work at all.

    Later they figured out how to get away with making them less expensively with performance that was "good enough".

    I suspect that may be what's happening with digital TV tuners in general and the ones in the TiVo in particular.
  16. Aug 17, 2012 #16 of 103

    jgantert Member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Columbia, MD
    So far this is the best reason that I have heard for the 4-tuners not to support OTA in the current generation. I guess they could use plug-in tuners like the Voom STB did, but that would be too costly I would suspect.

    I'm looking to upgrade because with the DTV switchover there are now over 50 OTA channels here, and it is not uncommon to want to record more than 2 shows at once. One of these new 4-tuner models would really come in handy for me. Back when the Tivo HD premiered, there were very few (if any) digital subchannels, and most of them were not content subchannels (ie: weather or SD versions of HD channels). Now there are TONS of quality subchannels (BounceTV, AntennaTV, ThisTV etc...) and more being announced every month (MeTv - Oct 12, MundoFox - Sep 12).

    As for the reason I switched, it wasn't only for cost savings. I was with Verizon Fios TV at the time, and they used to have the horrible Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR with absolutely horrible guide from the 80's. It kept dropping recordings and rebooting late at night. Eventually I got tired of paying for such cr*p and drop the TV (kept the internet), and went OTA only. I had initially planned to switch back to DirecTV, but we ended up getting used to OTA only and stuck with it.
  17. Aug 17, 2012 #17 of 103

    ntarvin New Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I got my Premiere last summer when there was the "buy an antenna for $99, get the Tivo Premiere free, and get service for $9.95 a month." A few months later, I was given a Series 3 (with lifetime) by my son.

    The Series 3 is a far better OTA tuner than the Premiere and gets OTA channels that the Premiere can't even recognize, much less tune in.

    BUT, I very much prefer the Premiere's HD interface, and the interface for Netflix. (I'm not sure, but I don't think the Series 3 gets PlayOn, YouTube, Amazon or Hulu + - let me know if that's wrong.) StreamBaby works well on both. (I have other means of accessing PlayOn, Hulu +, Amazon, etc, but i like the idea of everything being in one package... plus, my wife definitely does not want to mess around with too many remotes!)

    It really comes down to form versus function - does the Premiere's interface trump the Series 3 tuners???? Right now I can't make a definitive choice...
  18. Aug 17, 2012 #18 of 103

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2004

    I actually came to these forums when I noticed today that the Premiere XL is gone.

    Now technically I guess you can buy a Premiere from Weaknees with a larger hard drive, but I'm disappointed they have these 4 tuner ones that don't support OTA. OTA's always been a huge market, and I'd assume it's only growing...
  19. Aug 17, 2012 #19 of 103

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    In my setup I can get the same dozens of OTA channels with my Premiere as I could with my S3 boxes. And the Premiere has a rock solid signal for me even when it's at a signal strength of 30. Although if it gets down to 25 or so it will start to have issues. I have one channel that hovers around 30, but it never has any issues with the Premiere.

    My dual, combined antenna setup has been working great since I set it up in 2004 when I got my HR10-250 boxes for DirecTV.

    Although OTA is only a backup to my FiOS connection since they have the OTA channels and sub channels. I did end up using OTA recently when FiOS botched my upgrade to the 150/65 tier and my three FiOS services were down for several days. The streaming from my Premiere with OTA to my Elites came in handy during those days.
  20. Aug 17, 2012 #20 of 103

    hefe Rebus Philbin

    Dec 5, 2000
    CO via Chi-town
    I think my Premiere has a slightly better OTA tuner than the HR10-250 that it replaced.

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